Consider the following facts about the Translation Industry:
-The global market for language services stood at US$26 billion in 2010
-The United States federal government spent US$4.5 billion on outsourced language services from 1990 through 2010
-The two most important elements of translation quality – technical accuracy and a vendor’s willingness to implement feedback – are even more important to buyers than linguistic quality
-Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing translation in the US was worth US$75.8 million in 2009, while medical equipment and supplied manufacturing translation was worth US$100.4 million
-Translation professionals in China saw their income grow by 46.09 percent in 2010, while those living in Russia, Brazil, Israel, and Romania received pay raises of more than 25 percent
What can these facts tell us about the translation industry? The most important thing you should take away from this is that human translation services is a healthy and growing industry. If you’re waiting or expecting machine translation to take over from humans, you’ll be waiting a long time. As these facts show, technical accuracy is key for effective translations. Even as machine translation becomes more “human” sounding, they will never be able to match the technical accuracy of a human, qualified and experienced, in translating technical materials. And as all industries become more technical, and more global, human translation becomes an increasingly necessary tool.
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